Woman Stabbed In Downtown Tyler Apartment's Stairwell
By KENNETH DEAN
The tenants of the Moore Grocery Loft Apartments are reeling from a Friday morning knife attack on a mother of three in a stairwell in the loft apartment building in downtown Tyler.
With the incident fresh on their minds, they question the security of the building they call home.
Neighbors said Victoria Massey, 40, was on her way to work at Smith County Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Quincy Beavers' office when she was attacked in the building's north stairwell.
Ms. Massey, who is Beavers' secretary, crawled back up the stairs to her apartment where she was discovered by one of her daughters.
Tyler Police Officer Doyle Lynch said a 911 call was made about 8:20 a.m. Friday to report the stabbing at the apartments at 408 N. Broadway Ave.
When officers arrived on scene, they found Ms. Massey in her apartment suffering from multiple stab wounds to the neck and body, Lynch said.
Lynch said she was taken to East Texas Medical Center where she was being treated for the injuries.
He said police have very little to go on other than eyewitness accounts of a man seen running from the building.
Laqisha Hawkins said she was asleep when she was awakened by loud bangs and screams coming from the north stairwell area.
"I didn't know what was happening, but when I looked out of my window, I saw a shorter black man with blood covering his face and arms running from the building. It scared me to death," she said.
Ms. Hawkins and her neighbor, Cheryl Dawson, said the lack of security in the building has been brought up to management multiple times.
Other neighbors reiterated the statements, saying they were scared to leave their apartments because they never knew when they would encounter a transient in the hallways.
"I've seen people just walking through here, and The Salvation Army is across the street. It is really scary to walk out and see someone just sitting in the hallway charging their cellphone. You want to ask if they belong here, but then you are scared to do so," Ms. Dawson said.
The women said the entrances to the buildings are not locked and each apartment only has one lock on the exterior door, which causes them much concern.
Other tenants said they often have run into transients when they carry out their trash.
"There should be gates around this place with codes to get in and out. There shouldn't be people just walking around in here that don't belong here," one neighbor said.
A man answering the phone at the office of the loft management said late Friday they had no comment about the attack or the concerns raised by tenants.
Tenants said Ms. Massey and her three daughters were good neighbors, who always were courteous and helpful to other neighbors.
Everyone said they were concerned about her condition and hoping the mother of three daughters would make a quick recovery.
But Lynch said late Friday that Ms. Massey was listed in critical condition.
Anyone with information about the suspect involved in this crime is urged to contact the Tyler Police Department at 903-531-1000 or the Tyler/Smith County Crimestoppers at 903-597-2833.